Real Madrid vice-president Eduardo Fernandez de Blas appears to have confirmed Rafael Benitez’s arrival as the club’s new head coach with an offhand comment.
Benitez is widely expected to replace the departed Carlo Ancelotti after confirming that Sunday’s match against Lazio will be his last as Napoli coach.
And De Blas, speaking at a club event on Saturday evening, gave the game away as he praised the outgoing Ancelotti.
“I’ll tell you one thing, Carlo Ancelotti is a real phenomenon,” he said. “We give our thanks to him. Until three days ago, he was, for me, the best coach in the world, just as two years ago it was Jose Mourinho, and as from this week will be Rafa Benitez.”
The Madrid-born Benitez has a glittering resume, having led Valencia to two Primera Division titles, back-to-back appearances in the Champions League final and a UEFA Cup crown.
He also steered Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 to stun AC Milan.
Benitez also won the FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup while at Liverpool.